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Do Bioethanol Fires Give Off Heat?

Bioethanol fires do produce heat and the heat output of Bioethanol fires is measured in kW. A 3 kW fire will raise the heat of a room measuring 4m x 5m by approximately +3° to +5° Centigrade. The fires can produce a heat output in a range of between1 kW to 25 kW. The Biofuel fires are not as efficient at producing heat as other forms of heating. You can read how much fires cost to run here and compare biofuel fires with forms of fuel that you could use in a fireplace or stove. But do bioethanol fires give off heat?

As a personal recommendation, for years I have used a wood-burning stove as an additional heat source. I love to lay by the fire on a cold winters night and was very pleased when I bought the first tabletop bioethanol fire and found that it produced the same impressive heat as my wood burning stove.

The wood burner, a Charnwood Country 4, had an average heat output of 3 kW and the tabletop bioethanol fire had an approximate heat output of 3 kW.

Can Bioethanol Fires Heat a Room?

Bioethanol fires can heat a room effectively even on the coldest nights. There are a few factors that will affect how well a bioethanol fire can heat a room:

  • The size of the room.
  • The heat output capabilities of the fire.
  • Effective insulation.

It stands to reason that if a huge room with high ceilings and a tiny little fire its no going to get very warm! Equally, if the room has draughty windows and doors, heat will be lost and so will the warmth of the room.

Good insulation is also an important factor when trying to heat a room both efficiently and effectively.

How much Heat do Bioethanol Fires Generate?

Bioethanol fires can generate anything from 1 kW of heat to a whopping 25 kW of heat. To understand this better, consider a standard electric heater that has a rating of 2 kW. Would this heater heat your room? If the answer is yes, then a 2 kW bioethanol fire would be sufficient to heat the room.

Although tabletop bioethanol fires often have glass either side to protect the flames from wind or objects, this does not really deter the heat from moving out. It is true, however, being that heat rises, a large amount of heat that the bioethanol fire produces will go straight up. So, the lower the fire is in the room the better.

My advice is to not use fires as your only source of heating. Fires are not particularly efficient and need tending to. Fires should really for an additional heat source to add that extra bit of warmth on cold nights.

Radiators, electric heaters and other forms of heating like underfloor heating are designed to heat rooms in different ways. Some forms take longer than others to warm room and some are heaters will raise the temperature of a room very rapidly, but unfortunately will not be particularly efficient!

For example, a radiator could raise the temperature of a room by 2 degrees in 1 1/2 hours, whereas a bioethanol fire, as an added heat source, could raise the temperature of the same room by 3 degrees in less than 40 minutes.

For example, to reach heats of about 21°c, an electric panel heater of 4.5 kW would be required for an average room 4 m x 5 m. You can find a “What size electric heater do I need?” calculator here. The same room heated by a radiator powered by a gas central heating boiler would need a minimum of an 8000 BTU radiator, which, itself will take time to get warm before it can start getting the room up to temperature. You can find a “What size radiator do I need?” calculator here

Bioethanol Fire increase in temperature with NO other heat source
      The Heat Chief